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Thread: Looking for an electric tenor

  1. #1
    Registered User Paul Brett's Avatar
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    Default Looking for an electric tenor

    Hi, I'm mainly a mandolin player but recently started playing with a guitar player and my acoustic tenor is getting used a fair bit more. I'd like to try an electric tenor but would like to try something cheaper to start. I've seen references to Clearwater tenors but when I search all I can find is electric tenor ukes. I don't want to spend as much as an Eastwood Warren Ellis and don't like the guitar conversions I find on ebay, they all look like they have oversized bodies to me! (no offence to anyone who has one, it's just a taste thing).

    Can anyone advise me on where I could look? Anything under €200, it will only be used on and off. I'd try a kit either, I've made electric kits in the past with success.

  2. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for an electric tenor

    Why not just put a pickup or do you want a solid body?
    Jim

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    Registered User colorado_al's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for an electric tenor

    Look around for Soares'y from Portugal.
    http://www.infolinkmiami.com/soaresy/catalog.html

    Also Eastwood Airline Electric Mandola is an 8 string but you can just use 4 strings. Those can be found for less than $300. Only 18" scale however
    https://m.ebay.com/itm/Eastwood-Airl...e/272973129338
    Last edited by colorado_al; Dec-30-2017 at 11:44pm.

  4. #4
    Harley Marty
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    Default Re: Looking for an electric tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Brett View Post
    Hi, I'm mainly a mandolin player but recently started playing with a guitar player and my acoustic tenor is getting used a fair bit more. I'd like to try an electric tenor but would like to try something cheaper to start. I've seen references to Clearwater tenors but when I search all I can find is electric tenor ukes. I don't want to spend as much as an Eastwood Warren Ellis and don't like the guitar conversions I find on ebay, they all look like they have oversized bodies to me! (no offence to anyone who has one, it's just a taste thing).

    Can anyone advise me on where I could look? Anything under €200, it will only be used on and off. I'd try a kit either, I've made electric kits in the past with success.
    I have a collection of acoustic, semi acoustic & electric tenor guitars. Any time you're in Mullingar you can find me a session. The only Aussie muso in town. I'm not fussed about looks. My priority is intonation & tone. I've been getting good results for small money :-)

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  6. #5
    Registered User zedmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for an electric tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_al View Post
    Look around for Soares'y from Portugal.
    http://www.infolinkmiami.com/soaresy/catalog.html

    Also Eastwood Airline Electric Mandola is an 8 string but you can just use 4 strings. Those can be found for less than $300. Only 18" scale however
    https://m.ebay.com/itm/Eastwood-Airl...e/272973129338
    Eastwood also has electric Tenor guitars
    But depending on price & budget may need to find a used one...
    Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?

  7. #6
    Registered User Paul Brett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for an electric tenor

    Thanks everyone for the replies. Harley Marty I'll take you up on that offer in the new year, thanks.

  8. #7
    Harley Marty
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    Default Re: Looking for an electric tenor

    I've only got 7 tenors 3 are electric:
    An Eastwood Classic Tenor. A Harley Benton Reso King, which I removed the nut to make the 1st frett a zero fret so it's an easily manageable 24" scale for trad tunes. The one you could be most interested in is the Harley Benton Junior bk, it is a solid body with dual humbucker pickups short scale & proportionate body. Mine was B-stock around €75, the proper conversion hasn't been done to it yet currently it's tuned FCGDA (-:130 for the F:-). It plays as well as any Eastwood guitar!
    The guitar that impresses the most at the sessions is a Harley Manhattan converted to a 5 string bass CGDAE (160-C) good for reels

  9. #8
    Registered User Paul Brett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for an electric tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Marty View Post
    I've only got 7 tenors 3 are electric:
    An Eastwood Classic Tenor. A Harley Benton Reso King, which I removed the nut to make the 1st frett a zero fret so it's an easily manageable 24" scale for trad tunes. The one you could be most interested in is the Harley Benton Junior bk, it is a solid body with dual humbucker pickups short scale & proportionate body. Mine was B-stock around €75, the proper conversion hasn't been done to it yet currently it's tuned FCGDA (-:130 for the F:-). It plays as well as any Eastwood guitar!
    The guitar that impresses the most at the sessions is a Harley Manhattan converted to a 5 string bass CGDAE (160-C) good for reels
    I've never seen the harley benton short scale but I teach guitar to a couple of kids who have cheap short scale electrics and the intonation is so bad they're unplayable. Is the Harley Benton OK intonation wise? I've tried to adjust the bridge on an unbranded short scale but never got it right and painted all cheap short scales with the same brush.

  10. #9
    Registered User Paul Brett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for an electric tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by harley marty View Post
    i've only got 7 tenors 3 are electric:
    only

  11. #10

    Default Re: Looking for an electric tenor

    One option is to purchase a short scale 6 string electric and only use four strings on it. The Rogue Rocketeer has a 23 1/4 inch scale and is only 79.99 USD ( http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guita...lectric-guitar ). A Jackson Dinky Minion is 22 1/2 inch scale and 149.99 USD ( http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guita...-guitar/k35252 ). The neck will be wider than needed (obviously), but it should function o.k. if you only use the four strings.
    Last edited by Chip Stewart; Dec-31-2017 at 10:29am. Reason: correct scale length
    Blueridge BR-60T Tenor Guitar
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  12. #11
    Harley Marty
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    Default Re: Looking for an electric tenor

    Yes Paul 7 tenors & 4 basses tuned in fifths. I only do fifths because I'm in my late fifties & at it less than 2 years. A local wanted uke lessons so bought a tenor uke & book, spent 2 hrs on uke tuning then changed it to GDAE & told him I'd teach him saxophone instead! The intonation is good on the short scale 22"1/2 Harley. I need to put it to 4 strings but I feel a need to push my fingers to keep up with the top guys on the 24" scale first. I'm thinking of having a crack at this/next years Fleadh for the craic since its only €4 to enter. A tenor from London was placed 2nd this/last year.

  13. #12

    Default Re: Looking for an electric tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip Stewart View Post
    One option is to purchase a short scale 6 string electric and only use four strings on it. The Rogue Rocketeer has a 23 1/4 inch scale and is only 79.99 USD ( http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guita...lectric-guitar ). A Jackson Dinky Minion is 22 1/2 inch scale and 149.99 USD ( http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guita...-guitar/k35252 ). The neck will be wider than needed (obviously), but it should function o.k. if you only use the four strings.
    I always see those little Jacksons at GC and have wondered about getting one to use as some sort of fifths tuned instrument. Maybe some day I'll get a used on the cheap for some experimentation. Has anyone tried fitting one with a new nut and a bridge for four strings?

  14. #13
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for an electric tenor

    If you fancy a shorter scale (17") then this might interest you... http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TENOR-UKUL....c100011.m1850

  15. #14
    Harley Marty
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    Default Re: Looking for an electric tenor

    I reckon next time you are up near Mullingar you shoul take a loan of it & we can share the cost of getting 2 tail plates fabricated if you are happy wth it. It cost me €50 to get a stainless steel tailpiece made for my archtop to bass conversion. I took it out go a play earlier today and the reels came out at Mach 2+

  16. #15
    bass player gone mando
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    Default Re: Looking for an electric tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by zedmando View Post
    Eastwood also has electric Tenor guitars
    But depending on price & budget may need to find a used one...
    Some of those Eastwood electric tenors look very cool, and the prices seem reasonable. Anyone played one?
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  17. #16

    Default Re: Looking for an electric tenor

    Some of those Eastwood electric tenors look very cool, and the prices seem reasonable. Anyone played one?
    Happy new year!
    I have an Eastwood Astrojet, the one with the whammy bar.
    It's a nice guitar. I only use the neck pickup though, and try to get a sound, that is a bit jazzy, with the trebles rolled back.
    A hollowbody electric would probably be better for that purpose...

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  19. #17

    Default Re: Looking for an electric tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by chuck3 View Post
    Some of those Eastwood electric tenors look very cool, and the prices seem reasonable. Anyone played one?
    I play a made in Korea Eastwood Warren Ellis 2P tenor guitar. I have the discontinued model with the two humbucking pickups. I use Rotosound R12 Purple strings ( https://www.stringsandbeyond.com/rohamanielgu.html ) and play through a DigiTech RP255. You can hear what it sounds like at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bExe1T42Vhg . I'm using the neck pickup only and have a bit of overdrive dialed in for the video.

    I found the strings make a big difference. I tried many different strings and the Rotosounds had a much better sound than any of the others. YMMV.
    Blueridge BR-60T Tenor Guitar
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  21. #18
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for an electric tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Why not just put a pickup or do you want a solid body?
    I know we all need an excuse to buy something new but I was just curious if there was a reason to spend more money when you could get a high quality pickup for your acoustic.
    Jim

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  22. #19
    bass player gone mando
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    Default Re: Looking for an electric tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I know we all need an excuse to buy something new but I was just curious if there was a reason to spend more money when you could get a high quality pickup for your acoustic.
    yeah, I looked at tenor guitars and they look great, but when I look at the tuning and realize I have two Weber mandolas with the same tuning, and pickups, I don't think I'm going that route.

    That said - this thread got me started on the Eastwood family of instruments, and I realized that I don't have an electric mandocello, when - as a bass and mando player - I obviously should have one of these:

    https://eastwoodguitars.com/products...lis-mandocello
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  23. #20

    Default Re: Looking for an electric tenor

    If you're just looking to try stuff out, pick up a used Les Paul scale guitar, string it as a tenor tuned to BbFCG and capo at the second fret. This will get you a 21" CGDA tenor for cheap. When you're done, or want to try something different, restring it as a 6 and sell it along.
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